Unique UTV Models
Due to the youth of the side-by-side market, many of us may only be familiar with industry leaders, such as the Polaris RZR, Yamaha Rhino, Can Am Commander, and Arctic Cat Wildcat. However, because UTVs are closely related to ATVs and motorcycles in terms of drivetrain, there are dozens of manufacturers currently producing some lesser-known UTVs that may prove excellent options when it comes time to make your purchase. We’ve compiled just a few unique options that nonetheless have proven themselves with at least a few years on the market.
Kymco is a Taiwanese manufacturer well-known for their scooters and ATVs. Founded in 1963 as the Kwang Yang Motor Corporation, the company is best known for its motor scooters that can be found all over Asia as well as North American and other continents. Kymco USA has its headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina and has elevated its reputation with a 30 year presence in the US power sports industry. Their dealer network includes over 600 US locations, and they currently produce four UTV models.
The Kymco UXV 500 4 x 4 is an excellent utility side-by-side that is comfortable on the farm, industrial jobsite, and various recreational uses. With a 4 stroke DOHC 498.5 cc engine and CVT automatic transmission including differential lock, the UXV is a formidable opponent to the more popular Polaris Ranger, and Yamaha Rhino. It includes a full digital dash with fuel gauge, speedometer, odometer, trip meter, high beam indicator, neutral/reverse light, and temperature light. The suspension features independent A-arms front and rear, 25 inch tires mounted on steel wheels, and hydraulic dual disc front and rear brakes, as well as a hand-operated parking brake. A somewhat unique feature that every major manufacturer should be including on their vehicles is a front bumper to protect the undercarriage and front plastics, and an integrated skid plate with a cutout for the addition of a winch. The UXV is available in red and green and weighs in at just 1157 pounds. It includes a full one-year warranty, and a lower MSRP than both the Polaris Ranger and the Yamaha Rhino. The UXV is also available in an electronic fuel injected version called the UXV 500i, but at a much higher MSRP of $8799.
Kymco has been paying attention to the UTV aftermarket and has responded with the UXV 500i SE, available only in blue. This model features the same EFI engine as the UXV 500i, and while the rest of the specifications are the same as that model, Kymco has added a dual beverage holder, hard top, half windshield, aluminum alloy wheels, and a 420 pound capacity tilting cargo bed. This model also includes a 1200 lb. towing capacity 2 inch trailer hitch, locking glove box, and under seat and under hood storage. The top-of-the-line UXV 500i LE includes alloy wheels, 3000 lb winch, and a full soft enclosure and windshield as well as a gear rail package with gas pack. Available only in metallic silver it features the same cargo bed, hitch, glovebox, and storage areas as the SE in a more suitable all weather package. All these features are available for a very reasonable MSRP of just $10,199.
With the introduction of both the Polaris Ranger and Can Am Commander electric models this year, it is likely that we will continue to see electric versions of familiar gas powered UTV models. Much like John Deere, Bad Boy Mowers has taken their experience with ride on lawnmowers and applied this technology and innovation to its own complete line of UTVs. The most popular of the 3 electric models available is the 1500E brushless electric two -passenger model available in orange, black, or camouflage. The 30 horsepower 48 V electric motor drives two speed shaft drive front and rear differentials with pushbutton four-wheel-drive and limited slip. It is powered by eight 6 V interstate liquid acid batteries and includes an onboard smart charge system that automatically shuts off when the vehicle is fully charged. The vehicle has an impressive range of up to 50 miles and top speed up to 25 mph. It has a 2 Speed gear selector and weighs 1600 pounds. It is built on a solid steel frame that is welded, not formed for the ultimate strength. Every model includes a double bar front bumper with integrated skid plate. The body is made of automotive quality vacuum formed acrylic plastic and this model comes with 25 inch tires mounted on 12 inch aluminum alloy wheels, and also includes rack and pinion steering and dump bed with manual–shock assist. The front suspension includes independent A-arms and coil over shocks, and the rear suspension is an articulating solid rear axle with coil over shocks for excellent traction and pulling power.
The 1500E four passenger model is also available and includes the same one-year limited factory warranty, and both models are available in both two wheel and four-wheel-drive to fit any application. The 1500E NEV is a slightly simpler version that features an open roll bar design and 2 wheel drive, making it ideal for use around the neighborhood. It features smaller 23 inch street tires and weighs only 1325 pounds. The remainder of the vehicle is essentially left unchanged. If you do like the sound and power of a gas UTV, the 1500G and GX are also available. The 1500G includes a 403cc engine with Mikuni carb, shaft driven final drive and a CVT 2 speed transmission. The 1500 G is rated at 26 hp that propels it to 35 miles an hour, and the 1500GX features a 30 hp rating that will get it up to 50 mph. The raised engine intake and CVT vent allow for better performance in wet conditions.
While we are talking about water, the ARGO amphibious UTV certainly deserves honorable mention. The Argo has been used in military applications for years, and is increasingly gaining traction in the recreational market. Available in both 6 and 8 wheel models, there are many colors to choose from and endless applications for this capable, eye-catching vehicle. The Argo 6 x 6 Frontier 580 is a 6 Wheel Drive amphibious off-road vehicle with a 4 cycle OHV V-twin air cooled 570cc Briggs and Stratton engine. It features a load capacity of up to 700 pounds on land or 500 pounds on water. While this can hardly be called a performance vehicle, few side-by-side vehicles can forge a river or lake like the Argo. It features a one-piece ergonomic handlebar steering control similar to an ATV and all-wheel traction and a low center of gravity to allow optimum stability. Despite the extreme conditions that the Argo is routinely subjected to, it features a two-year limited engine warranty. The 6 x 6 650 HD model includes a 627cc 23 hp engine featuring the same load capacity.
Unique UTV Models- conclusion
On the off chance that 6 wheels just isn’t enough, ARGO offers a wide variety of 8 x 8 vehicles as well. These models feature anywhere from 674cc to 747cc liquid cooled, fuel injected engines and extra heavy-duty transmissions as well as the ability to carry up to 6 passengers, and a load capacity of up to 1150 pounds on land or 1000 pounds on water. All these vehicles include 24 inch all-terrain tires, premium padded bench seats, and front bumper for protection of the headlights and front body plastics.
Companies like Polaris, Can Am and Yamaha have certainly earned their spots as the market leaders. However, before you decide to follow the crowd into your next UTV purchase, consider some of the more unique alternatives. Stay tuned to side–by–side–blog.com for a more thorough UTV buyer’s guide coming soon.Read more